The Cutting of the Net

Information on the Informant: The informant for this particular piece of folklore is a 20 year old friend of mine who attends usc names Brian Finley. Brian is from San Diego, California and has played basketball his whole life. He recently transferred to USC this past year (2015) after spending his first year of college at Chapman University playing basketball. He is a tall and very skilled player who has traveled all around the country throughout his life playing in various tournaments. He has seen teams from many different geographical areas and how their traditions vary based on team.

Informant: ” It’s a long standing tradition in the NCAA basketball tournament that after a team wins the whole national championship, each payer and coach on the team stand on a latter and cut off a part of the net that was used in the game. The reason why the teams do this is pretty basic–it’s first off, a sign of victory but also it allows the members of the team to have a piece of the history that they created by winning the national championship.’

Me: “Do you know where the tradition started?”

Informant:” Yeah actually I do. It started in the early 1900’s at an Indiana high school which I don’t know the name of. All I know is that after one of the high schools won the state championship, their coach told them to take a piece of memorabilia into order to cherish the victory for a long time. After many years this coach became a college coach and his team won the national championship for the NCAA. After his team won, the whole team took a piece of the net and ever since then it had been a tradition to do so.”

Analysis: I have attached a video of the most recent team to win the national championship, the Villanova Wildcats, cutting down the net after winning. It is clear throughout the video that this tradition is extremely prideful and is a culmination of a very successful basketball season.